Deliveries form a major part of any retail business. In fact, the delivery experience is directly linked to your customer experience, and slow or incorrect deliveries can lead your customers to abandon ship, turning to businesses that offer faster and accurate deliveries.
However, optimizing your deliveries manually, in the face of increasing order volumes is a challenging task, unless you are aided by intelligent software.
Statistics also back this statement – stressing on the dual benefits of reduced costs and accurate and swift deliveries, by implementing a customized delivery planning software. According to a report, the use of logistics management systems for delivery executions can boost your freight savings by up to 8%.
If you are considering a delivery truck routing software for optimizing your deliveries and costs, here are 21 things to know that will help you make an informed decision:
Imagine you are a third-party logistics provider and manage deliveries for five food vendors in your vicinity. Being Saturday, it is an especially busy day, and you have to send out multiple orders in a limited period with limited drivers. What do you do?
You open-up a map and select the best possible route that includes maximum delivery points while avoiding any high-traffic areas – that’s routing, finding the most efficient and economical route between A and B.
In the above example, imagine handing over the five food packets to a driver with address tags and letting him/her take charge of the deliveries. The poor driver will probably head to the areas he is familiar with, and struggle to find the addresses of the areas he/she isn’t familiar with, leading to unnecessary delays and customer frustration.
However, leveraging a routing software, you can create a plan for your driver to follow that tells him or her the order of deliveries in addition to a fixed route to follow. The process becomes much easier with a delivery routing software that guides your drivers to follow the most efficient route between multiple points. This not only shrinks delivery turn-around-time but also makes operations profitable by reducing miles per delivery.
Are you aware that up to 22% of vehicle crashes happen due to bad weather? Or that 3.8 million gallons of fuel are wasted each day, with the average American driver spending over 16 minutes idling their vehicle every day?
Poor weather forecasting, traffic delays, driver idling time, no-entry time windows — these are just a few of the factors that must be considered for routing to choose the fastest, safest and fuel-efficient routes — instead of the shortest route between any given points.
Unfortunately, humans have limitations and conventional route planning using Google Maps or pen and paper cannot meet these challenges. Here are some common challenges with regards to using traditional route planning methods.
1.It’s expensive and heavily dependent on manual intervention
2.Scaling delivery operations becomes a major challenge
3.Lack of real-time visibility of delivery fleet makes it difficult to track operations
4.It has limitations of analyzing data
5.Poor engagement of delivery executives resulting in poor productivity
On the other hand, intelligent delivery routing software can sieve through historical data and also take into account real-time weather and traffic updates to plan the most efficient routes for your deliveries.
A delivery routing software is a platform that leverages machine learning, predictive intelligence and information integration to sift through historical data to predict traffic conditions while using real-time location, weather and traffic updates to suggest the most efficient routes for deliveries. Such a platform also enables real-time tracking, seamless communication and automated updates for both the driver and customers.
At FarEye, our routing systems are backed by Machine Learning technology. It can self-learn and correct addresses based on delivery successes and failures in the past.
An advanced route planning software will help you manage your fleet, improve productivity and increase SLA adherence, leading to fuel saving, reduction of labor cost and elimination of human error. However, businesses might think that implementing delivery management software means replacing existing legacy systems. But that’s not true. Modern delivery management software can seamlessly integrate with existing IT platforms like TMS, WMS, ERPs among others and significantly boost system interoperability.
Delivery routing software can make your logistics operations transparent while ensuring timely and accurate deliveries. Following are the key benefits of implementing a delivery routing software for small businesses:
An AI-backed delivery routing software can optimize last-mile deliveries through smart work allocation, which saves precious time for your fleet. Shipments are allocated to agents in a logical order to ensure maximum work in minimal time, reducing the burden on your last-mile delivery partners while ensuring accurate deliveries. Such software is also capable of dynamic re-rerouting, which means your delivery partners are notified in time of any upcoming congestion or no-entry windows, with an alternative route they can follow to complete the delivery. Modern delivery management software makes logistics operations transparent for customers. It keeps customers abreast with the delivery proceedings through alerts and notifications.
It empowers delivery partners to collect electronic proof of delivery (ePoD) as an image, signature, or timestamp and feedback for your business.
Traditional TMS has helped the transportation industry optimize deliveries, but it is no longer enough in the face of rising order volumes and evolving customer expectations. To start with, traditional TMS systems lack real-time visibility and collaboration, and are incapable of collating data from multiple sources, such as ERPs, WMS and 3PL systems, leading to confusion and delays.
Advanced routing programs for delivery come equipped with features such as predictive visibility, real-time tracking via digital control towers and geofencing capabilities, as well as a unified platform for all the stakeholders to ensure seamless collaboration and transparency into on-ground movement of goods.
Last Mile Challenge #2: How To Enhance Route Planning
A delivery routing software has several benefits for logistics stakeholders:
There are several delivery routing tools available in the market, starting with the Google Optimization Tools (OR Tools), traditional Transport Management Software, cloud-based platforms for route planning, and fully customizable, Artificial-Intelligence backed delivery routing software for small businesses, as well as established ones.
Advanced delivery driver routing software is powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to deliver predictive intelligence while planning routes. Such systems analyse the past performance of a particular route by sieving through historical data to assign the most efficient routes for delivery. Machine learning also empowers such systems to learn on their own and correct addresses based on past delivery experiences.
Hard-pressed to meet same day delivery expectations set by Amazon, e-commerce businesses are constantly striving to up their game by offering fast and efficient deliveries to customers. However, without an intelligent route planning software, managing the logistics of delivery planning can eat into your time and costs, while also introducing the element of human error. That’s why we offer plug-n-play delivery routing software for small businesses that can be integrated with their existing systems to automate the most time-consuming parts of delivery planning. Delivery routing software also helps to keep check on every single reverse logistics process, thereby ensuring that costs are optimized and risks are eliminated.
Better logistics, faster and accurate deliveries, lesser delivery costs and great customer experience.
Complex delivery systems require advanced planning mechanisms. Less than truckload freight shipping (LTL) refers to the transportation of small freight that does not require the use of an entire trailer. Delivery routing software can optimize capacity planning by enabling you to aggregate deliveries in similar areas so that your trucks are not over or under capacity, while also optimizing time and distance per vehicle.
For manufacturers with a private delivery fleet, a route optimization software can save hours and thousands of dollars by enabling dispatchers to plan the most efficient routes in just a few clicks. However, routing software is also beneficial for manufacturers working with distributors, as it allows seamless management and collaboration. With a delivery truck routing software, manufacturers can track the delivery progress of all their partners, and also gain access to analytics-based business reports for improved efficiency.
Sam ordered a delicious pizza while she was chilling with her friends at home. After 40 minutes of ordering, when there was no update, she called the restaurant that informed her that the order had been dispatched 20 minutes ago but they were unable to contact the driver. Frustrated, Sam slammed down the phone and finally received a cold pizza, almost an hour later than she had expected.
Frustrated, she took to social media and convinced many users to stop ordering from the restaurant.
Unfortunately, the restaurant had prepared and dispatched the pizza in time, but they lacked routing capability and also had no system of real-time tracking and communication to keep an eye on their delivery partners throughout the last mile of delivery.
No wonder, they soon invested in a delivery routing software to efficiently plan their deliveries while enabling real-time order tracking for both, restaurant owners and customers. Now, there is no scope of delayed deliveries and customer expectation mismatch, as their smart system ensures proper route allocation, estimates accurate ETAs, and keeps everybody notified in the case of an exception or delay.
Who doesn’t like fresh vegetables delivered at the doorstep? However, inefficient route planning and unexpected delays can spoil perishable grocery items, leading to poor customer experience. By implementing a delivery routing software, grocery sellers can not only manage their in-house delivery fleet better but also track the deliveries planned by their 3PL partners, ensuring complete visibility and better control.
You can improve fleet management and productivity with a delivery driver routing software that offers the following benefits:
Automated Route Planning
The shortest route between your warehouse and the recipient’s place may not be the best, as it could be riddled with traffic or other conditions that impact the movement of your vehicles.
A route mapping software, powered by machine learning algorithms, sifts through historical data to suggest the most efficient routes for delivery as opposed to the shortest ones – saving time, as well as fuel costs in most cases.
Save time and gas spent in idling time through real-time updates regarding your vehicle’s location. You can also contact the driver directly to prevent unnecessary delays.
Don’t let the unexpected impede your deliveries. A delivery route planning software considers factors such as resource capacity, customer preferences, and traffic and weather conditions to suggest the most efficient routes for completing your deliveries in real-time.
Enjoy an automated system that allocates shipments to agents in a logical order to eliminate human error, ensure maximum work in minimal time, and also reduce the burden on your last-mile delivery partners.
Electronic Proof of Delivery
Collect electronic proof of delivery as an image, signature, or timestamp while also collecting feedback for your business.
In addition to the capabilities shared in the point above, it is important that your delivery planning software is scalable, and designed to grow with your business. Besides, choosing a software with machine learning capabilities is important to gain predictive insights, as well as create a self-learning platform that optimizes your delivery routes based on past experiences.
Another consideration is the preference of the on-ground team, which means you need a software partner that is ready to conduct on-ground trainings and offer seamless support to ensure a smooth transition.
According to stats, up to 61% of consumers want faster deliveries. In addition, 93% of customers wish to stay informed about the location of their shipments and almost the same percentage of consumers blame the retailer for a poor delivery experience.
By implementing optimized routing programs for delivery, businesses of all kinds and sizes can ensure timely and accurate deliveries with real-time updates and the possibility of accommodating customer preferences in the delivery schedule. A modern logistics software also analyses variables like distance covered, delays, route efficiency, and others, to accurately predict ETAs, which helps in setting realistic expectations for customers that are easily met.
Automated route planning, dynamic rerouting, intelligent delivery allocation, real-time updates, and a mobile app to manage your fleet on-the-go — these are just a few of the benefits of intelligent route planning powered by an advanced delivery planning software.
By combining artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, modern delivery planning software such as FarEye use predictive intelligence to optimize routes for efficiency and safety based on historical data. Our system also enables Geofencing, which means managers can set the rules that act as a guide for auto-routing.
Lack of visibility into the fleet is one of the most common issues faced by the users of traditional transport management systems. A route planning software overcomes this problem by integrating predictive visibility to accurately predict ETAs and employ digital control towers to keep track of every shipment at any point in time.
A logistics solution that is powered by digital control towers leverages real-time data from the largest GPS, ELD and telematics network to keep a check on the current status of all your loads moving on the ground. Also, it empowers businesses to get easy alerts for exceptions and escalate tickets in real-time while enabling direct communication with drivers to prevent unnecessary breaks or delays.
Investing in route planning software could be the game-changer for your business. That’s why it is vital to narrow down your options and work with a partner that treats your success as its own.
At FarEye, we are dedicated to helping businesses manage their fleet better and ensure seamless collaboration between various stakeholders while building high-visibility into ground-level operations. To know how FarEye can help you achieve your business objectives, sign up for a quick demo here.
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